A 'sci-fi' cancer therapy fights brain tumors

A 'sci-fi' cancer therapy fights brain tumors

WASHINGTON (AP) -- It sounds like science fiction, but doctors say a device worn on the head that makes electric fields improved survival for the first time in more than a decade for people with deadly brain tumors.

The device, made by Novocure and sold in the U.S. and elsewhere, is not a cure. But a study found more than twice as many patients were alive five years after wearing the apparatus plus undergoing the usual chemotherapy than those given just the chemo, 13 percent versus 5 percent.

The electronic fields supposedly disrupt cell division, causing cancer cells to die. Patients attach electrodes to their shaved scalp, carry a small generator in a bag and wear the device at least 18 hours a day.

Results were discussed Sunday at a Washington cancer conference.

Associated Press 2017